Can common blood pressure drugs improve pancreas cancer outcomes? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Two very common types of blood pressure medicines, so called ACE inhibitors and ARBs, may improve survival for people with cancer of the pancreas, a new study finds. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, notes that this is an idea that’s been around for a while.

Nelson: What they found was if you take an angiotensin receptor blocker you had about a 20% lower risk for pancreatic cancer mortality. If you took an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor you had about a 13% decreased risk. Most of that was concentrated within the first three years of a diagnosis and then went away. The idea that these drugs might influence pancreatic cancer is a fairly longstanding one. Pancreas cancers have very high pressure inside them and it’s because of the secretions pancreatic cells make. Does this mean that these could be an interesting adjunct to the treatment you’re getting?    :32

Nelson says studies are underway to examine the role of blood pressure lowering medicines in the management of pancreas cancer. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.